Author Erich Friedrich was a brave, obedient soldier. He won the Iron Cross for valour and was wounded on the Eastern Front. He was not a Nazi: he was fighting for his country and his comrades. Yet, despite his excellent war record, Friedrich was arrested for failing to give the Nazi salute and for making disparaging remarks about Hermann Goering. Charged with subversion, he was brought back to Germany and thrown into a cell in a former insane asylum with six other non-Jewish prisoners of the Reich, including a suspected spy, a Jehovah's Witness, an alleged homosexual and a socialist. To help pass the Christmas holiday between brutal interrogation sessions, each man took a turn telling why he awaited torture and possibly death.